Hey guys, no looking ahead — one game at a time.
That’s the message Hunters Lane coach Anthony Sewell is sending to his Hunters Lane basketball team. And, at least outwardly, an OK response is how it’s being received.
There’s still several games to be played beforehand. But it’s hard for the Warriors not to look ahead to a Feb. 9 rematch at Overton, which very likely will be for the District 12-AAA boys regular season championship.
Overton came into Warrior country Jan. 12 and knocked off the hosts 69-62. With three weeks left in the season, Overton, following its easy win Friday over Antioch, still has that one game lead over Hunters Lane which hasn’t lost since.
The Bobcats sport a 7-0 league record to the Warriors 6-1. They are arguably are the two best 3A teams in Nashville. The two powers appear certain to be the top two seeds for the district tournament, which opens at McGavock High the week of Feb. 15.
“We’re trying to focus on winning every game, looking only at our next opponent,’’ said Sewell after his team’s 50-45 district win over McGavock Friday, leaving the Warriors an impressive 17-3 overall.
“We had to start boxing out better and play better defense. The first half, they got all the rebounds and loose balls,’’ Sewell said.
His Warriors will be heavily favored in two district games this week against Glencliff (Tuesday) and Hillwood (Friday). “We’re well aware of what’s down the road, but we have to keep focused, keep our minds on the task at hand,’’ he said.
Sewell, whose team awoke in the second half against McGavock, can be thankful of the balance his team has, with leaders like Joseph Wilbert (game high 16 points), DeMarco Starling (12) and an inside presence like senior Robbin Perry.
Hunters Lane found itself in a 26-26 tie with McGavock at the half, but the 6-6 Perry stepped up, scoring 10 of his 14 points after intermission and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“Coach Sewell told us our defense sucked the first half,’’ Perry said. “He said we had better pick things up in the third quarter, and we did.
“I want my team to know they can count on me. I want to bring some leadership, defense, scoring and rebounding,’’ Perry added.
Then, looking ahead, he said, “We really want to pay Overton back for our one district loss,’’ Perry said. “We want that top seeded spot for the tournament.’’
After all, that game is still in the minds of the players.
McGavock (7-9 and 3-3) led for much of the game, but the Raiders eventually wore down against the taller Warriors.
“We’ve been up and down this season,’’ said Raiders coach Marlin Sims. “We’re a little undersized and we have to make up for that in speed and quickness.’’
Looking ahead, he said, “I hope that we might be a factor in the district tournament, just by the fact that we’re hosing it,’’ he said, forcing a smile. “We’ve shown we’re capable of some good play with our (50-48) win over Franklin recently.’’
Scrappy McGavock, which lost to Hunters Lane by just one earlier, has some good penetrating guards like Kwasi Tripp and Darryl Jackson, who also pose a threat at the three-point line.
Preps in Brief
Maplewoood, Lipscomb top scorers go at it — Two of Nashville’s top scorers went at it Friday when Lipscomb and Blake Bell (17.3) visited Maplewood and Robert Wade (17.4).
Bell had the best of the scoring derby with 21 points to 10 for Wade, but Maplewood’s Fred Lee stole the show by pouring in 28 points to lead the Panthers to a 69-58 win to stay atop the District 10-AA standings at 9-1 and 11-6 overall.
BGA Homecoming celebrates girls hoops anniversary — Battle Ground Academy will celebrate its basketball homecoming Friday when the Wildcats host Harpeth Hall (girls) at 6:30, followed by the BGA-MBA boys game in Franklin. Between games, there will be a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beginning of girls basketball at BGA, honoring some past participants. Prior to the game, the school will have a Chili Cook-off, beginning at 5 p.m. in the back gym, $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10, with admission to the game free.
MBA-Ryan wrestling rivalry renews Saturday — Montgomery Bell Academy visits old rival Father Ryan Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Irish Gym in a renewal of their wrestling rivalry and match-up of top 10 teams. Defending DII state champ Ryan is ranked No. 2 in the weekly coaches poll and MBA is No. 8. They are the top two ranked teams in Nashville in any classification.
Brabson scores 1,000th point for East Lit — Sharonda Brabson scored her 1,000th points for East Lit, even though it came in a 52-51 loss to Pearl-Cohn. Brabson is the second player for East Lit to score her 1,000th point after Kelli Cowan became the first for the school to hit the mark just two weeks ago.